Northwest Nexus Frequently Asked Questions

Windows Recommended Software

FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
Usenet news
Web browsing

Northwest Nexus has licensed the distribution rights to various Internet client applications that we like and recommend to our customers. You'll find links to these below, as well as their descriptions.

Compression utilities

Archiving makes grouping a collection of files together easy and makes transporting and copying these files (especially over the Internet) faster as a result of the overall smaller file size. For these reasons, many files are found in archived format on the Internet, on BBSes, and on popular online services. If you're going to be downloading or uploading files on a regular basis, then you are definitely going to need one of the Windows clients below in order to make the process as easy and efficient as possible.

StuffIt Expander for Windows (Aladdin Systems) expands files from the most popular archiving and compression formats found online, including StuffIt (.sit) and ZIP (.zip). StuffIt Expander will also expand files in uuencoded (.uue), BinHex (.hqx), and MacBinary (.bin) formats, as well as self-extracting archives created by StuffIt, ZIP, and Arj. Other archive formats supported include ARC (.arc), Arj (.arj), and gzip (.gz). It's super-easy to use and is a great choice for new users. Free.


Windows 3.1 Stuffit Expander 1.0 sitex10.exe (347k)
Windows 95/NT Stuffit Expander 1.0 sitex10.exe (347k)


WinZip (Niko Mak Computing) is considered by new and experienced users alike to be the best compression utility available on the Internet. WinZip features built-in compression and decompression capabilities for ZIP, BinHex, MIME, UUencode, XXencode, Z, TAR, Unix compress, GZIP, and EXE (self-extracting archive) formats. Quite simply, if you can download it from the Internet, you can install it using WinZip. One of its best features is the ability to quickly and efficiently check out or install an archived (compressed) program and then uninstall it later if you decide you'd rather not keep it. Shareware, $29/30-day free trial.


Windows 3.1 WinZip 6.2 winzip31.exe (563k)
Windows 95/NT WinZip 6.2 winzip95.exe (615k)



Think of all the steps you go through in Windows 95 to connect to the Internet. First, you have to open your connection profile, click Connect and wait for the connection; you may have to do this repeatedly. Once you have a connection, you have to start your applications. This process of Internet connection becomes an accepted routine, but it can become annoying if you have to do it several times a day, especially on a slower PC. We've found a great utility that enables you to do all of these things with a single click of the mouse:

Dunce (Vector Development) bypasses the "Connect To" dialog, redials even when Windows 95 Internal redial won't work, reconnects you in the event of a disconnect, minimizes the "Connected To" dialog, expands the "Details" in the "Connected To" dialog, enters your password for you in the "Connect To" dialog, runs and closes up to four programs, dials into the Internet when you start a program that needs you to be connected, and enables you to schedule connections to run at specific times. Dunce is only compatible with Windows 95. Free. 

Windows 95 Dunce 2.52 (217k)



For many people, electronic mail is the best reason to use the Internet. It's a fast, relatively quick, and,once you get used to it, perhaps a superior way to keep in touch with people, exchange information and files, and get questions answered. Mail clients tend to be the Internet client that users work with most often. Almost everyone sends and receives e-mail on a daily basis, and the clients used for these tasks range from the feature-replete to the feature-deplete. A solid mail client will allow you to do more than just send and receive mail; it will sort your mail into folders based on specified filters, it will spell check your work automatically, and it will allow you to create address books and mailing lists.

Eudora Light (Qualcomm) is the de facto standard for mail clients by sheer popularity and the best e-mail client we've found. The 'light' version has rudimentary mailing list capabilities (by utilizing its nested nicknaming feature), and also has the ability to queue mail and poll outgoing (but not incoming) mail in the background. The latest releases have added many important features including a 32-bit native version, offline capability, improved appearance, a revised toolbar, basic filtering capabilities, full drag and drop, MAPI support, and is capable of launching attachments and URLs from within messages. Free.

Windows 3.1 Eudora Light 3.01 eul301.exe (4,137k)
Windows 95/NT Eudora Light 3.01 eul301.exe (4,137k)
Eudora Light Manual (PDF format): eul3manl.pdf (688k)


FTP (File Transfer Protocol) clients

FTP clients are the most popular method for obtaining files over the Internet. Literally thousands of anonymous FTP sites have been set up to allow the public to download and try out files. While Web browsers have become more popular as of late for FTP-ing files (most have an integrated FTP client), standalone FTP clients retain more functionality and features than those found in Web browsers. So, for the serious file-grabbing netizen, a standalone FTP client may be the better application for downloading files.

CuteFTP (GlobalSCAPE) is a stand-alone FTP client with a multitude of configurable options and features exceeding those of FTP clients found in Web browsers and gopher clients. One of the best features of CuteFTP is its robust stop command, similar in nature to the stop button found on many Web browsers. This command allows a user to stop any operation in progress while still maintaining the connection. Beyond the stop command, CuteFTP also integrates the file listing process with file descriptions obtained from the index files found at many anonymous FTP sites (extremely helpful for deciphering the cryptic file names found at many FTP sites). Caching of recently visited directories is another distinctive feature found in CuteFTP. Shareware, $30/30-day free trial.

Windows 3.1 CuteFTP 1.8 16cftp18.exe (432k)
Windows 95/NT CuteFTP 1.8 32cftp18.exe (484k)


WS_FTP Limited Edition (Ipswitch)-- While Gopher clients and World Wide Web browsers often incorporate File Transfer Protocol, none of these can match the amount of features and configurability options of John Junod's WS_FTP. FTP remains one of the most widely used internet applications, and WS_FTP makes this oft-used tool quick and painless. Available in both freeware (the one we have at our site) and commercialware versions, WS_FTP offers a price and feature combination that will appeal to most users. Configuration options in both versions include several alternative screen layouts, the ability to associate remote files with local programs, automatic logging, extension conversion on transfer, delete all, force lower case on transfer, and quick screen sizing. WS_FTP also comes pre-configured with an extensive array of FTP sites to check out. Multiple copies of the program can be launched to download multiple files at the same time. Free.

Windows 3.1 WS_FTP LE 4.5 ws_ftple.exe (856k) (651k)
Windows 95/NT WS_FTP LE 4.5 ws_ftple.exe (856k) (651k)


Usenet newsreaders

Usenet is the worldwide collection of Internet newsgroups. Newsgroups are discussion areas (or forums) where you can communicate with others about topics of interest. Many newsgroups have worldwide distribution, and their participants post messages, properly called "articles," for all to read and respond to. A newsreader application enables you to read newsgroup articles.

Free Agent (Forte) is a relative newcomer to the newsreader business. Forte's Free Agent has many great features and is easily the most configurable. Options include offline/online newsreading, font colors, screen size, multithreading, thread watching, thread ignoring, mark for later retrieval, and many more. One of its best features is the ability to extract information from another newsreader during setup so that the user doesn't have to input the same information over and over and ... Free.

Windows 3.1 Free Agent 1.11 fa16-111.exe (1,110k)
Windows 95/NT Free Agent 1.11 fa32-111.exe (1,029k)


  Internet Mail and News for Windows 95 (Microsoft) sport intuitive and graphically appealing interfaces that are sure to impress and entice novice users. At the same time, they offer features guaranteed to please even the most picky of experts. Both clients benefit from the ability to make use of Microsoft Office's spelling checker (if you have Office, that is) and can be integrated into the Internet Explorer 3.0 interface to make for an impressive suite of Internet apps that gives Netscape a run for its money. The clients also share a common toolbar that works to ensure easy accessibility between each other as well as with Explorer and other desktop applications. Additional features include extensive customization capabilities, multiple sorting keys, automatic file encoding and decoding, import/export newsrc files, support for multiple servers, and more. The Windows 3.1 client is integrated into Internet Explorer. Free. 

Windows 95/NT Internet Mail & News 1.0 mailnews.exe (1,116k)


WinVN (NASA Kennedy Space Center) was king of the Windows newsreaders before Free Agent and others arrived. Amazing how things can change in less than a year or two. Several new features and improvements to old ones, as well as the efficiency and ease of use that have always been WinVN's strongest points, have WinVN once again nearing the title of 'top dog'. WinVN uses the tiled-windows approach for listing newsgroups, article lists, and individual articles. WinVN is one of the easiest to use newsreaders available, and there is plenty of online help to get new users acquainted with the program. Free.

Windows 3.1 WinVN .99-9 (312k)
Windows 95/NT WinVN .99-9 (352k)


Web browsing

The World Wide Web continues to be the fastest growing segment of the Internet, and for good reason. The Web is the only part of the Internet that can offer text, sound, images, and video together in a presentation-type layout. While very much like desktop publishing (DTP), the Web goes beyond even DTP by standardizing the way in which this information is presented. By making authors conform to the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) standard, the information an author creates for viewing over the web will be presented the same way by every Web browser available (in theory, at least). A browser is a program that allows a user to view the informational 'pages' that others create and offer via the Web.

Internet Explorer (Microsoft) is an excellent Web browser that has already made more than a few big waves in the Internet community and will likely make many more in the future. Like Netscape, Internet Explorer has introduced several exclusive features, some of which are still not available from other browsers, including Microsoft's answer to plug-in modules, ActiveX Controls. Proprietary features that originated with Internet Explorer but that have since found their way into other browsers include extended tags for the <FONT> attribute, marquees, background sound support, a search page for the largest search engine databases on the Internet (Infoseek, Lycos, and Yahoo), global font sizing, inline AVI video support, and client-side image mapping. Many other features are also standard fare for Internet Explorer including centering, transparent images, integrated mail and news clients, inline FTP support, advanced tables, spawned processes for opening multiple windows, and strong support for Web security (PCT, SSL 2.0, and SSL 3.0 security technology). Free.

Windows 3.1 IE 3.02 IE for Windows 3.1download page
Windows 95 IE 3.02 IE for Windows 95 download page


Netscape Navigator (Netscape Communications) is the easy-to-use browser with advanced functionality that is a component of Netscape Communicator and is also available as a stand-alone product. It is the world-leading software for browsing information on the Internet or intranets. Navigator has been updated and improved for greater ease of use. The stand-alone Netscape Navigator 4 comes with Netcaster, which provides push delivery of information and off-line browsing. Navigator 4 can also provide access to Web-based e-mail and calendaring when used in conjunction with Netscape server products. The new features included in Navigator will help you save time and effort with quick access to the tools you use most frequently. Plug-ins (small programs that add functionality to Navigator) are now downloaded and installed automatically so they work right away without any user configuration. New information-management tools simplify access to favorite sites and provide one-click access to Internet searches. Like all Netscape Communicator components, Navigator includes open standards-based security features to protect information such as credit card numbers and personal financial data. Free for individual/non-profit use.

Windows 3.1 Navigator 4.03 Navigator download page
Windows 95 Navigator 4.03 Navigator download page


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